New Deputy Tax Commisioner in North Dakota

For anybody that deals with North Dakota on a regular basis:

December 16, 2013

Contact: Ryan Rauschenberger, Deputy Tax Commissioner 701.328.2770
Kathryn Strombeck, Director of Research & Communications 701.328.3402

New Tax Commissioner Announces Deputy Tax Commissioner

BISMARCK, N.D. – Incoming Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger today announced that Joe Morrissette will serve as Deputy Tax Commissioner, effective January 1, 2014. Morrissette will fill the Deputy Tax Commissioner position being vacated by Rauschenberger. Governor Jack Dalrymple appointed Rauschenberger to fill the Tax Commissioner post beginning January 1, 2014.
Morrissette is a 20-year employee of the State of North Dakota. For the past 12 years, he has served as a Budget Analyst with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to his service at OMB, Morrissette worked for the North Dakota Legislative Council. Morrissette holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees and is a Certified Public Accountant.
“Joe is an excellent choice for Deputy Tax Commissioner,” said Rauschenberger,” and he brings with him a wealth of experience in dealing with the fiscal matters vital to the State of North Dakota, and its taxpayers.” Rauschenberger added, “Joe’s budgetary and legislative backgrounds will be instrumental to the Tax Commissioner’s Office as, together with our dedicated staff, we meet the challenges of our growing economy.”
As the state’s Deputy Tax Commissioner, Morrissette will be responsible for leading the department’s research and policy team, will assist the tax commissioner in all areas of tax administration, will work with legislative committees regarding state tax policy, and will serve on boards and commissions as needed and directed by the Tax Commissioner.
“I am thankful to Commissioner Rauschenberger for this opportunity to serve the taxpayers of the State of North Dakota in this new capacity,” said Morrissette. “I look forward to working with the staff of the Tax Department, who is among the finest in state government.”
Morrissette officially becomes Deputy Tax Commissioner on January 1, 2014.

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Cyber Monday Tax Evasion

This article from Forbes, explores the amount of tax evasion that is occurring due to Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday follows Black Friday, and is typically the busiest day of the year for online shopping. States often look forward to Black Friday, because it generates a significant amount of sales tax revenue. Cyber Monday, however, is a day where states lose copious potential revenue.  Out-of-state retailers are not required to collect and remit sales tax without a physical presence or substantial nexus within the state. Even if the tax is not collected by the seller, the buyer typically still owes the use tax on the product; however they rarely report this. The result is high profits for retailers, and little to no revenue for states.

Webinar: Talking to Your Clients About Sales Tax

Judy Vorndran Esq. CPA, of Eide Bailly will be presenting this Avalera sponsored webinar on January 7, 2013.

Course Description

Sales tax laws are often complex and confusing, even a neighborhood bakery faces complex taxability decisions. Many companies provide little or no training for their employees regarding the proper methods of collecting and reporting sales taxes. An employee with little or no formal training could be collecting and remitting substantial amounts of sales tax. If your client has a sales tax liability, there are methods to potentially reduce or remove penalties and interest. Beginning the sales and use tax discussions with our clients should not be a scary proposition. In many cases sales tax exemptions or credits may be available. Learn how to locate and apply for those exemptions and you can be the client’s tax super hero.

To register:

Problems with Affiliate Nexus

The article Affiliate nexus litigation: Everyone loses by Annet Nellen points out some of the glaring problems with affiliate nexus laws. Some of these include:

  • Litigation Costs– Amazon and Overstock have proven time and time again that they are willing to litigate these laws.
  • Loss of income tax revenue– Amazon and Overstock have decided to sever their ties with affiliates in state with these types of laws, reducing the amount of income that the states can tax.
  • Problem still remains–After a relationship with a 3rd party affiliate is severed, a company is no longer liable to collect sales tax.
  • No solution reached–There are two conflicting cases on affiliate nexus (New York, and Indiana), and the Supreme Court has been unwilling hear the case. The only real hope for a solution seems to lie with Congress.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Online Sales Tax Case

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear a case involving online sales tax in New York, thus letting the New York statute stand.

The Statute requires that companies like Overstock and Amazon have to collect and remit sales tax in the state even if they do not have facilities or a direct physical presence in the state. The statute operates on the basis that companies have a physical presence simply by having contracts with  3rd party affiliates within that state.

Amazon and Overstock won a similar case in Indiana back in October, meaning that there are currently two conflicting rulings on the matter.

Denver Special Districts (RTD and SCFD) Sales Tax Base Soon to Be Same as State.

On January 1, 2014 the Regional Transportation District and Scientific and Cultural Facilities District sales tax base will change and become identical to that of the State of Colorado. All exemptions will be the same between the districts and the state.

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